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Chief selector confident batting will come good after new coach takes over

Dec 19 (DN) Chairman of selectors Graeme Labrooy believes that the national cricket team’s bane which is their batting will come good once Chandika Hathurusingha takes over as the head coach from today. “From the Indian tour in Sri Lanka and then the Pakistan tour we see light at the end of the tunnel, there is an improvement but still to be decide,” Labrooy said. “But now with Hathu coming on board we will have a batting coach more..

They Call Him Ken proceeds presented to charity

Dec 19 (FT) John Keells Holdings Former Chairman Desamanya Ken Balendra who saw the release of his biography – They Call Him Ken – written by Savithri Rodrigo in September this year, presented the proceeds of the books sold thus far to the designated charity, Friends of Prisoners’ Children (FPC) Trust. A total of Rs. 536,000 was presented to FPC Chairperson Sr. Dhammi Fernando, collated from the proceeds of the sale of books and generous donations towards the cause more..

Did the blue-green budget forget migrants and their Greenbacks?

Dec 19 (IPS) Despite SL's 2018 budget proposals, presented on 9 Nov 2017 being built around blue-green colors, greenbacks (US dollars in a color connotation) related to the country’s migrant workers toiling overseas received little or no attention. A good portion of SL’s foreign exchange earnings are received as migrant remittances; in 2016, a total of 7.2 billion in greenbacks was remitted, accounted for 8.9 % of GDP, surpassing foreign exchange earned by apparel exports or tourism. more..

Sri Lanka trip a test case on human rights for PM, MIC leaders

Dec 19 (FMT) PM Najib Razak is on a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka with some of his ministers, including Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam, Minister in the PM’s Department Azalina Othman Said and Malaysia’s special envoy to South Asia S Samy Vellu. The trip to Sri Lanka might be important from a diplomatic point of view. However, some sections of Malaysian society expect human rights issues to be raised with Sri Lankan leaders. more..

No slowdown in apartments in Colombo

Dec 19 (ST) There has been an increase in the number of apartment projects in Colombo and Greater Colombo areas, according to data compiled by Based on the certifications issued for Condominiums, Semi Condominiums and Provisional Condominiums by the Condominium Management Authority (CMA), the number of certificates issued has increased specially within Colombo city during the last three years and in the first nine months of 2017. more..

Cricketers should come up the rung

Dec 19 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket has shifted from the school environment to a relationship with cricket academies. Unlike the school system where the player is just somebody in an academy environment the relationship has the capability to grow out of proportion. It has its causes, the academies are institutions run by individuals who have been given the task of getting their students to the highest level. It is with great reluctance we have to accept the fact that these individuals too have more..

Sri Lanka permits private sector to import coconut kernels

Dec 19 (ST) In a desperate move towards tackling the shortage of coconuts and the skyrocketing of its prices, govt has permitted the private sector to import coconut kernels. Coconut Development Authority (CDA) called on interested importers to import coconut kernels without delay considering it as a national priority as there is a severe dearth of coconuts in the country and its price has gone up from Rs.100 to Rs. 125 more..

‘Sri Lanka yet to fully exploit ornamental fish exports’

Dec 19 (DN) Sri Lanka is yet to reap full financial benefits from ornamental fish exports, said Director, Lumbini Fish Exports, Vibhu V. Perera. He said that only few know that Sri Lanka is the largest guppy fish exporter to the world and is among the top 10 exporters of ornamental fish. “However, if given the proper guidance by the govt, Sri Lanka can be among the top five exporters,” he said. Currently, S exports ornamental fish to around 50 countries and annual turnover is less than US$ 3 million. more..

Don’t expect flawed policy of handouts to continue: Sagala

Dec 19 (Island) The govt is working to deliver an economy that rewards those who work hard and those who are self-reliant to build their own small and medium businesses, therefore, don't expect any handouts, Minister Sagala Ratnayake said last week. The minister made this remark while speaking at an event where Sense Micro Distributors (SMD) partnered with China's Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. Ltd, a leading solution provider in the global video surveillance industry. more..

Malaysia’s first bank SCB sees big scope for greater ties with Sri Lanka

Dec 19 (FT) Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia hailed the visit of Malaysian PM and stated that there was vast potential for closer ties with SL to boost bilateral investment and trade. Malaysia until a few years ago remained SL’s biggest investor with a portfolio of over $ 3 billion in 47 projects, with the flagship among these being telecom giant Dialog Axiata. SL and Malaysia’s bilateral trade is currently around $ 700m. more..

SLBA ban to be lifted

Dec 19 (CT) The international ban imposed on Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) will be lifted before 31 Dec. This new development was after the successful meeting between the SL delegation and BWF representatives in Dubai yesterday. SL delegation was led by Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera and comprised Saman Bandara, Director General of the Sports Ministry who is functioning as the Competent Authority of the Association, Additional Solicitor General more..

Agriculture contraction slows SL growth

Dec 19 (EN) Sri Lanka’s economy grew 3.3% in the third quarter of 2017 compared with a year ago, slowing from the 4% growth in the preceding quarter, as the agriculture sector continued to contract owing successive bouts of droughts and floods. Department of Census and Statistics said Gross Domestic Product for the third quarter of 2017 at constant (2010) price reached Rs. 2,351,384 million compared with Rs. 2,276,896 million for the third quarter of 2016. more..

There are times I am not convinced with CC decisions: President

Dec 19 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena said that there were times when he was not convinced with some decisions taken by the Constitutional Council regarding names sent for the appointments of top posts. While stressing that he was not going to make any further comment on the matter before all the media cameras, as he did not wish to create a Constitutional clash the following morning. President made this remark more..

The Kalu Wandura is again listed among the World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates

Dec 19 (Island) Every two years the Primate Specialist Group (PSG) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) publishes a list of the 25 most endangered primates in the World. Since 2004 the list has regularly included SL’s Batahira Kalu Wandura or the Western purple-faced Langur. In Dec 2017 however, Highland Bear Monkey, and the Northern and Southern purple-faced langurs were also added to the list. The additions resulted from a recommendation more..

Sri Lanka seeks ASEAN tie-up

Dec 19 (ST) Sri Lanka will seek Malaysia’s assistance to establish a Sectoral Partnership with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The request, a Foreign Ministry source said, would be made by Prez Sirisena when he holds official level talks with Malaysian PM Najib Tun Abdul Razak. Malaysia is a founder member of the ASEAN. The move comes as three important agreements where two Malaysian based companies chose to invest US$ 350 million were more..

No interference in Judiciary: CJ

Dec 19 (DN) Chief Justice Priyasad Dep emphatically stated that the country’s Judiciary is running independently without any interference. He further said due to this situation, the country could be pleased with the existing supremacy of the law as well as the independence of the judiciary. The Chief Justice made these observations addressing the annual assembly of the Judicial Service Association at the Galadari Hotel. more..

UNP fixing mistakes of UPFA regime: PM

Dec 19 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says the UNP in the national govt is fixing the mistakes of the previous regime to build a stronger economy, since necessary funds to local govts cannot be provided without a strong economy. Issuing a statement, PM said the UNP in the national govt has committed over 25 billion rupees for all activities at the Local Govt level next year through the 2018 Budget. PM also said by voting for the UNP the public will be able to enjoy a good deal from more..

Sathosa to sell Coconuts at reduced prices

Dec 19 (DN) Public Enterprise Development Ministry has stepped into to supply Sathosa with 250,000 coconuts at a concessionary rate. The govt run Kurunegala Plantations and Elkaduwa Plantations together will meet the supply of 250,000 coconuts to ease the demand during the holiday season. Kurunegala Plantations will supply 200,000 coconuts to Sathosa, company’s Sales Manager said. Elkaduwa Plantations General Manager said they will add 50,000 coconuts to Sathosa supply. more..

'Malyasian products to get better access in Sri Lanka under FTA'

Dec 19 (TS) Malaysian products, including palm oil, will get better access and lower tariffs in SL following the setting up of a free trade agreement, says PM Datuk Tun Razak. He said both countries restated their commitments to finalise the negotiations for the FTA as soon as possible. “One of the benefits (for Malaysia) will be better access for our ­products to the SL market, and one of the products is palm oil,” more..

Sri Lanka optimistic of Russia lifting Ceylon Tea ban: minister

Dec 19 (DM) SL is optimistic of lifting the temporary Ceylon Tea ban by Russia, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. “I am optimistic about a quick solution,” said Bathiudeen after an urgent consultation with his top officials. “Russia and SL have long-standing friendly and cordial relations. This ban is not a refusal of SL by Russia but only a temporary stoppage of one export product from us. The only reason for our concern is that nearly 80% of our exports to Russia are Ceylon Tea. more..

John lashes out at young UNP plotters trying to oust him

Dec 19 (Island) Tourism and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga yesterday lashed out at a group of new UNP MPs who were planting stories in the media in a bid to oust him. He did not name them. Amaratunga, who has been in parliament continuously since 1977, said unlike those newcomers who were in a hurry to grab the limelight and come to the top by doing devious things, he had made tremendous sacrifices for the party during the last 40 years. more..

CB Bond Scandal fallout: CFA may sanction against 3 Sri Lankans

Dec 19 (CT) The US-based global Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute is considering professional disciplinary sanctions against at least three of its Sri Lankan CFA charter holders whose names were allegedly mentioned in the PCoI into the controversial CB Bonds transactions, a top CFA SL society official said. "This is the first occasion the Disciplinary Review Committee (DRC) of the CFA Institute has started such disciplinary-related more..

Corruption and bribery still rampant, 20 cases to be heard daily

Dec 19 (DM) Despite pledges being implemented, some dimensions of maintaining law and order and the rule of law, corruption and bribery are still known to be rampant specially in state sector institutions and even in public-private partnership companies. So much so that a law was passed recently to appoint three special 3-Judge High Courts to hear mainly corruption and bribery cases. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Sunday, these courts would hear about 20 corruption cases on more..

Accountability of implementing restrictions on use of polythene

Dec 19 (DM) The baseless, opposing attitude to any decision taken in favour of national interests has become a common feature among the people of SL. This negative attitude to any proposal put forward for the sake of proper evaluation of contents therein has caused irreparable loss to the country. Usual uproar seems to be spiraling against restrictions recently imposed on the use of polythene products such as lunch sheets, bags popularly known as silisili bags and other polythene based products. more..

Looters as Rulers: Sri Lanka’s dubious honour at Washington corrupt quartet

Dec 19 (DM) Early this month, Sri Lanka along with three other nations, had the dubious honour of dominating the agenda of the first ever Global Asset Recovery Forum held in Washington. All four countries featured in the Washington forum are going through some form of regime transition: Sri Lanka, Ukraine and Tunisia recently got rid of elected or otherwise autocrats and the Nigerians denied a second term for more..

Looters as Rulers: Bond Commission Report: Moment of Truth for Country

Dec 19 (DM) The country is awaiting with a mix of excitement and trepidation the Report of the PCoI into the alleged Treasury Bond scam which will one way or another indicate whether there is hope for optimism for the future of the country. The report is crucial for reasons which include: 1) It has captured the popular imagination unlike no other scam in a country awash with scams under successive administrations since television more..

'SLFP doesn’t have a strategy to meet new developments'

Dec 19 (DM) The Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) held its 21st National Congress recently. The Daily Mirror discussed the political, economic and social changes taking place domestically and globally with the CPSL General Secretary former Minister DEW Gunasekara. Q : The world today is reaping the harvest of the collapse of the Cold War which was galvanized by Perestroika of Mikhail Gorbachev. more..

Those detained by the security forces: UK MPs urge Govt to release list

Dec 19 (CT) British MPs of the All Parliamentary Group of Tamils have called upon President Maithripala Sirisena to release the list of all those who surrendered or were detained by the security forces. In support of the conclusion of the 300 days of demonstration staged by families of the disappeared persons, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, Paul Scully, has pointed out that it is a milestone which more..

Delimitation Report due in January

Dec 19 (CT) Delimitation Committee is presently analyzing more than 500 submissions and hopes to submit the final report, by the end of January 2018, to the Minister of Provincial Councils & Local Govt, Chairman of the Committee Dr. K. Thavalingam said. He noted that the Committee had visited all 25 districts and the functions pertaining to delimitation will conclude by 4 Feb 2018. "We visited all 25 districts and got their views and more..

Kenya eyes Russia tea sales on SL spat

Dec 19 (DN) Kenya wants to use the current tea trade spat — triggered by a single insect— between Russia and Sri-Lanka to boost its volumes to Moscow after years of low exports. Wire agencies reported that Russia would place temporary restrictions on imports of tea and all other agricultural products from SL from Tuesday after a single beetle was found in a consignment. Tea directorate says it sees the current impasse more..

Israel in talks with Sri Lanka to upgrade Kfir fighter jets

Dec 19 (JP) Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is in talks with Sri Lanka to upgrade Kfir fighter jets of the Sri Lanka Air Force. Sri Lanka purchased a total of 16 Kfir jets from Israel between 1995 and 2005; at least seven were lost during the 26-year-long SL civil war and IAI is in talks with Colombo to upgrade and return to service its five grounded Kfir jets. Manufactured at the Lahav division of the Military Aircraft Group in Israel, more..

Despite worsening situation, SriLankan retains same aviation consultant

Dec 19 (ST) SriLankan Airlines has retained the same international aviation consultant from whom it commissioned a partial restructuring plan last year to draw up yet another proposal to turn the ailing company around. Of the 2016 contract, Nyras says on its website that it was assigned “to carry out strategic options review of viability and opportunities for SriLankan Airlines, a State-owned flag carrier”. more..

O/L student uses Viber/Imo for maths paper

Dec 19 (NR) Police have launched an investigation into a student who sat the mathematics paper of the O/L Exam with his mobile phone. Student is believed to have used the Viber and Imo applications to answer questions. Initial investigations revealed the student of a school in Anuradhapura, had taken pictures of the question paper and sent it to a friend through Viber and Imo. Answers to the questions were sent back to more..

Deputy Minister Nimal Lanza resigns

Dec 19 (AD) UPFA Gampaha District MP Nimal Lanza has resigned from his portfolio as the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. He has handed over his letter of resignation to President Maithripala Sirisena. “I decided to leave my post as the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs with effect from today. I have notified the President regarding my decision. I am hoping to meet the President on a later date and discuss the matter,” he said. more..

Take prompt action to save elephants

Dec 19 (CT) For subsistence farmers living in the far reaches of the North Western Province, the elephant is a dangerous pest who can destroy a season's worth of crops in one night, or trash their houses in a matter of hours. For the readers of this newspaper – urban English speakers – the elephant is a beloved symbol of our nation that we revere. The fact is that we Sri Lankans are living in a time that we are in serious conflict with these majestic beasts. 279 wild elephants had died in 2016, 74 more than more..

Sirisena Presidency: A parallax view

Dec 19 (FT) Maduluwawe Sobhitha Hamuduruwo and Medagoda Abayatissa Hamuduruwo differ in their world views. The differences are so deep that an attempted comparison would be absolute blasphemy. It would be as heretical as a comparison of Gandhi – Mahatma with Bin Laden – the fundamentalist. Reported tête-à-tête between Prez Sirisena & Medagoda Abayatissa Hamuduruwo in cloistered confidentiality is an alarming eye opener. It alerts us to politics of caprice. more..

ලෝකෙන්ම දොට්ට දැමූ ගල්අඟුරු බලාගාරවලට....

Informal work pressing employment challenge for Sri Lanka, study says

Dec 19 (EN) Informal work is growing in SL, posing challenges to workers and enterprises and the govt should review and enforce laws to cover all workers, a new study has said. Despite recent economic gains and the advances in reducing poverty and inequality, SL’s economy is undergoing some informalization, according to the joint study by ADB and ILO. This trend is “posing a major challenge to workers’ welfare and their rights to decent work, negatively impacting enterprises, more..

Three Lankans nabbed with 2,000 mobile phones at BIA

Dec 19 (DM) Three Sri Lankans had been arrested this morning with 2,000 mobile phones at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), while attempting to smuggle them in without the approval of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), Customs Media Spokesman said. He said the suspects arrived at the BIA onboard two SriLankan flights from Dubai and Guangzhou, China. The nabbed mobile phones are estimated to be worth Rs. 600,000. more..

From Ivo Bligh to Bradman: Sri Lanka’s first international Cricket half-century

Dec 19 (Roar) On 5 Sept 1832, a notice appearing in the Colombo Journal inviting gentlemen who may be inclined towards forming a Cricket Club to attend a meeting at the Colombo Library 3 days later, resulted in the formation of tColombo Cricket Club (C.C.C.). Shortly after, the first recorded cricket match in Sri Lanka took place between C.C.C. & British 97th Regiment of Foot (now Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment) more..